After 19 months, United Airlines officially suspends flights at New York’s JFK Airport – again

United’s move to restart flights during the pandemic at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is coming to an end.

The Chicago-based airline officially announced its plans to withdraw from JFK Airport in late October on Friday. The airline currently operates four daily flights from JFK, two to Los Angeles and two to San Francisco. They are called a number the nation’s top and most competitive routes.

When service ends, United will consolidate its transcontinental operations at the hub of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), where it previously provided a robust schedule with many daily flights between the coasts.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

In an internal memo obtained by TPG and confirmed by an airline spokesperson, United said that “given our current schedule, it is too small to compete beyond JFK – along with starting winter where many airlines will operate as they resume flying JFK – United has made the difficult decision to suspend service at JFK.”

Affected customers will be offered refund or rebooking options.


This move doesn’t have to come as a surprise, as United warned that it may be forced to suspend service to New York’s busiest airport as early as this month.

At the end of October, the airline will lose the positions that currently allow it to operate from JFK – a key driver of the move. Slots are basically Authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration to allow an airline to land or depart at a certain time at airports with limited capacity, including JFK.

United’s 100 JFK employees have been notified of the airline’s withdrawal and the airline promises that no one will lose their jobs if they are willing to move to other nearby airports.

In a statement, the FAA said it is “dedicated to doing our part to safely expand New York City’s airports and airspace capabilities. We will follow due process and its well-established to award future slots to increase competition among airlines so that passengers get more We are encouraged that United will retain and move its JFK staff to airports other in New York City.”

United served JFK for many years, but it pulled out of the airport in 2015 under the direction of former CEO Jeff Smisek. Withdrawals, since dubbed a “strategic mistake” by current CEO Scott Kirby, has cost the airline important (and lucrative) contracts with some of its most valuable customers.

United have strategically used the pandemic-related demand downturn to its muscles back to Kennedy in March 2021. At that point, the airline can temporarily take eight seats – enough for two daily return flights – from some international carriers that don’t use them.

The airline has restarted service for JFK with one of its most premium jets, Boeing 767-300 “high-J” variant There are 46 Polaris business class seats, as well as a 22-seat Premium Plus cabin.


The airline has struggled to fill many of its planes’ premium seats, leading to frequent ticket sales and plenty of prizes and upgrades. To better match supply and demand, United switch to use Boeing 757-200 on JFK routes. This aircraft has only 16 Polaris pods in a less than ideal 2-2 configuration.

But now that travel demand is back, these carriers want their seats back, leaving United with no choice but to pull out of JFK.

That’s interesting, United still owns 40 positions at JFKbut they have leased them to Delta Air Lines under a long-term agreement that does not allow United to take them back at this time.

United warned earlier in September that it may be forced to suspend service for JFK. At the time, the service provider shared an internal memo with its employees that “now that customer demand has rebounded, the operators of those locations are continuing to continued use in early winter and beyond.”

After exhausting options for more permanent positions, Kirby sent a letter to acting FAA administrator Billy Nolen urging the agency to increase the position limit at Kennedy. These discussions are “constructive”, according to United, but it added that “the process of adding additional capacity at JFK will take some time.”

“We think customers in New York deserve more choice, and United’s strong service to JFK is a good thing for our customers, employees and airline. So we are. will continue to pursue a larger and more desirable schedule for customers and stand ready to seize those opportunities if and when they arise,” the internal memo read.


News7g: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button